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The One Ring Forums: Tolkien Topics: Reading Room:
RR Discussion: The Athrabeth Finrod Ah Andreth
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CuriousG
Valinor


Jan 7 2014, 1:07pm

Post #76 of 117 (261 views)
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Giving in to ideal hope--indeed a cool notion. // [In reply to] Can't Post

 


Maciliel
Tol Eressea


Jan 7 2014, 2:12pm

Post #77 of 117 (261 views)
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just wanted to say... [In reply to] Can't Post

 
i hope this thread continues for a long bit, as i have not had a chance to read finrod + andreth, and hope to do so this week, and contribute to the fine conversation.

carry on, company.


cheers : )

.


aka. fili orc-enshield
+++++++++++++++++++
the scene, as i understand it, is exceptionally well-written. fili (in sort of a callback to the scene with the eagles), calls out "thorRIIIIIIN!!!" just as he sees the pale orc veer in for the kill. he picks up the severed arm of an orc which is lying on the ground, swings it up in desperation, effectively blocking the pale orc's blow. and thus, forever after, fili is known as "fili orc-enshield."

this earns him deep respect from his hard-to-please uncle. as well as a hug. kili wipes his boots on the pale orc's glory box. -- maciliel telpemairo


Brethil
Half-elven


Jan 7 2014, 2:36pm

Post #78 of 117 (251 views)
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Two interesting ideas Sador [In reply to] Can't Post

The concept of the Firstborn as the teachers and shepherds of the Followers. And then you mention the Moriquendi - who in their sense are both 'unspoiled' in the sense of belonging entirely to Arda and having more of a distant relationship with the Divine....so in their rusticity both more commitment to the land itself and potentially to the teaching of Men yet lacking the exposure and knowledge of the Noldor.
So how may their teachings and responses to Men, unforeseen by all Firstborn, have been different? Certainly all Elves lack the understanding of the Gift and if the fate of Men. But could the Moriquendi perhaps have influenced the first Men they met, already misled by Morgoth, to perpetuate the idea that Death is unnatural due to their innate sense of longevity yet having less of what JRRT assigns to the Noldor in terms of wisdom?
Can we say that the experiences of the Noldor would have altered their response to the unforeseen Followers?

,

Have an idea relating to the world of JRR Tolkien that you would like to write about? If so, the Third TORn Amateur Symposium will be running in the Reading Room in March, 2014. We hope to see you there!





sador
Half-elven


Jan 7 2014, 9:08pm

Post #79 of 117 (251 views)
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Has Tolkien read RH Benson? [In reply to] Can't Post

The Elves always had hope in their ability to defeat Morgoth.
We know that it did not happen that way, but do you think that this optimism is strange in light of their lack of hope for an eternal home?
Why do you think they always had hope? When the Noldor set out, the first herald manwe sent asserted that they could not, and when Feanor replied he did not challange this assumption, only claimed that going forthing is better than lingering, and prophecying that in the end, the Valar themselves will follow him.
At the time of the Siege of Angband, Fingolfin did boast about the Noldor's ability to contain Morgoth; but even that does not mean a complete victory.

The Elves had seen Morgoth in his power, and were still hopeful, but the Men who had only rumor of his power, were cowed.
How do you think these circumstances played out upon the different peoples, one race, but with different temperaments and longevity?
I doubt it.
The Elves have never yet seen Morgoth in his full power, and do remember him as the jail-crow of Mandos (as Feanor put it sunccinctly).
For Men, Morgoth was the only angelic power they have ever known, and in the great lands of the East he did hold sway.

Andreth, in this declamation, presumes to know more of the world than the Elves. She thinks that she knows that their resistance is hopeless.
Is this pride on her part, or an expression of her despair?
This might be seen as a challange to Finrod.
And I really wonder whether Tolkien has read Lord_of_the_World (I expect he did); I don't think he took this title, or even concept, from either Luther or Milton.

What do you think of this bold assertion? Has he been patronising her all along? Did her attribution to Morgoth of such a title of Lord of the World, finally set him off?
Not patronising, no; but he does grow preachy at this point. He probably wonders whether such apostasy is very much widespread among the Three Houses, and how could it be nipped in the bud.

(Eventually it was, by Morgoth's annihilating the House of Beor. If ony he knew!)

Finrod seems a little harsh, but I think that he is only trying to challenge Andreth's views to test their validity. I detect no malice, but what do you see here?
For one thing, I see here the germ of the tale of Adanel.
But Finrod is trying to make a logical point: if indeed Death was not men's original lot, but a doom imposed upon them, and knowing that Eru alone is capable of such changes in the course of the world, and also assumingn that he is not just all-powerful, but also good, just and merciful - then it follows of necessity that Men have committed some grevious and terrible sin, very early in their history (fruit, anyone?)
The logic is precise, and irrefutable. But how many assumption need to be postulated before getting to the actual argument!

My opinion is that he is not looking to gain an answer, so much as to get Andreth to see her statements objectively. I am compelled by Finrod's argument' namely: Morgoth does not have the strength to condemn immortals to death.
What about you?
Personally? The rejection of dualism is one of the cornerstones of my faith.

This unwillingness to speak of such matters to an Elf, how do you think it plays into the tale? Pride, ignorance, or something else?
Not ignorance. But there is a kind of pride which refuses to acknowledge doubt to outsiders. And after Finrod has, in effect, accused her whole race of some terrible sacrilege - why should she speak to him?


Does this refusal incline you to side more with Finrod? Was this the intent? Is the absence of grounding to Andreth's side, a mere lack of work, something that Tolkien had not gotten to writing, or was it meant to be ambiguous?
I think Tolkien here was struggling with the question of virtuous, even righteous, pagans (after all, these Men are clearly pre-Christian, even pre-Hebrew). He cannot imagine them other than in a state of blissful ignorance, or of existential despair. And reth is simply less ignorant.

Andreth seems to become a raving voice to be hushed by the noble King, not quite the Wise woman.
How, do you see her development so far? Does Finrod seem a little too perfect to you?
Well, he is the mouthpiece of revealed truth (according to Tolkien's other writings).
But yes, Andreth is beyond comfort by any of his words; and Tolkien has to show in this, his most Chrisitan work (except forperhaps Leaf by Niggle), that she is both rationally wrong and inconsolable by reason. Only those joyous tidings (the etymology of "gospel" - and not coincidental by any measure) which both of them piece together from their respective traditions can offer salvation to both.



Rembrethil
Tol Eressea


Jan 7 2014, 9:16pm

Post #80 of 117 (246 views)
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Moral Imperitives. [In reply to] Can't Post

Perhaps it could be likened to taking a moral high road. It might not get you far in the corporeal world, but what does it do for your character and in the afterlife? Did Fingolfin get a posh suite in Mandos' Halls for his (foolish?) courage?

Hmmm.... It gets me to thinking of the Fool's Hope that won the War of the Ring. Maybe Fingolfin played a larger, part spread over time. Maybe he taught Morgoth fear, and it is worth noting that he never (willingly) left his throne in Angband again!!

Oh the 'why's' and 'how's' that only Eru knows!!!

Call me Rem, and remember, not all who ramble are lost...Uh...where was I?


Rembrethil
Tol Eressea


Jan 7 2014, 9:29pm

Post #81 of 117 (256 views)
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Thoughts back [In reply to] Can't Post

Why do you think they always had hope?...

Feanor thought he could take the Silmarils from Morgoth, so that suggests to me, that the Elves thought they could succeed. They did not come to burgle them, but to make war. They realised that they were only going to get them back if Morgoth was cast down and subjugated. Or at least that is my interpretation....


The Elves have never yet seen Morgoth in his full power, and do remember him as the jail-crow of Mandos (as Feanor put it sunccinctly).
For Men, Morgoth was the only angelic power they have ever known, and in the great lands of the East he did hold sway.

True, perhaps. I doubt Melkor was putting on shows of his strength in Valinor, but in the War that occured before the Summoning, I think they might have seen some indications. The point I meant to muse upon was the fear of the known vs. the fear of the unknown.


Not patronising, no; but he does grow preachy at this point. He probably wonders whether such apostasy is very much widespread among the Three Houses, and how could it be nipped in the bud.

He was probably surprised, I agree. That someone could hold such vastly differing opinions, I think, shocked him. He probably wanted to learn more, but he did reach a point where disagreement was inevitable. He was tolerant, but I think this shows the limit of that tolerance, in the form of a direct assault on his most profound belief.


For one thing, I see here the germ of the tale of Adanel...

Wow! I can follow that logic now you have pointed it out.



Call me Rem, and remember, not all who ramble are lost...Uh...where was I?


CuriousG
Valinor


Jan 7 2014, 10:45pm

Post #82 of 117 (266 views)
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I hope you can join us soon [In reply to] Can't Post

but I'm not certain if that is intrinsic hope or hope based on evidence.


sador
Half-elven


Jan 8 2014, 4:23pm

Post #83 of 117 (247 views)
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Short answers [In reply to] Can't Post

(at least, I hope they will be, and perhaps I will be able to respond to two of your challanging posts)

Finrod appears to move back into a listening position rather than a teaching one.
A return to a student’s place of observation?
He seems to be attempting to regain some of Andreth's trust, hence his honest disclosure of opinion, but he also asks, indirectly, if Men could be mistaken, having taken somewhat of the Elves philosophy, concerning mortality.
What do you think of this confession of Finrod?
It seems that you prefer the second option - that Finrod is taking a step back, to pump more out of Andreth. I am reluctant to accuse him of such underhand methods; I think he is genuinely interested in her, and in Men's thoughts and beliefs. So if he felt he has offended, he tries tyo reconcile; but he also realises that to understand better, he must accept for the moment her basic premises.


Andreth is sure of herself, Men were immortal, but she is unsure of the time. That fact is indisputable to her. Her clarification of the ideal state of Men, recalls an Edenic system to me, further supported by the idea that nothing was to die.
What do you think?
Yes, the Garden of Eden is an appropriate parallel - I expect it was (in Tolkien's mind) a source of this imagined belief.


Does Finrod's incredulity serve to illustrate the gulf between kindreds, outlining the fundamental differences in thought patterns?
Perhaps. But it also arises from this tale contradicting all that is known of the Music of the Ainur - surely decay came before the Third Music?!
I am not sure what this is supposed to reflect in Real Life: the incredulity of the pre-monothestic peoples at receiving the "joyful tidings" discussed in my reponse to your previous post, or the inherent contradiction between the first two chapter of the book of Genesis?


Now we really get a philosophical idea to work on.
What are your thoughts on this topic of debate, in context? What do you think of this idea, and its effectiveness in the Legendarium?
As I've stated above, it reflects the first two chapters of Genesis: that of this world as reflecting G-d's pure, inviolable creation - a and this world as the corruption by sin of a purer ideal.
How do we reconcile the two? We can't; but we belive (at least I do; and although adhering to a different religion than me, so did Tolkien) that both are true.
Absurd? Yes; but so is the wave-particle dualism.


Is Andreth's reticence in answer to the first matter annoying? Is it intentionally leaving answers open, or something that was not written yet?
I read it as if she really did not know. She might have speculated on an answer - but she might realise it was too weak to uphold for Finrod's scrutiny.



Brethil
Half-elven


Jan 8 2014, 6:38pm

Post #84 of 117 (244 views)
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The spirit turning-point for Finrod [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To
He was probably surprised, I agree. That someone could hold such vastly differing opinions, I think, shocked him. He probably wanted to learn more, but he did reach a point where disagreement was inevitable. He was tolerant, but I think this shows the limit of that tolerance, in the form of a direct assault on his most profound belief.

I agree here Rem. I do think Finrod was airing his own doubts prior to this, and sharing his own fears about the fate of the Elves - this moment is such a critical one in the discussion as it seems to be a sticking point for him: doubt and fear may exist (and the lot of the Elves, Immortal and beautiful, seems to be a bit unhappy) but the resolution this awakens in Finrod changes the dynamic a bit.

It reminds me of something JRRT says in Letters, which came up in the Gates of Gondolin - every man having his 'breaking point' of the spirit (paraphrasing). And in a purely philosophical way, and opposite of the idea of the spirit giving out, this low point of suggesting Morgoth's hierarchy is beyond the point to which Finrod can contemplate. It has the result of strengthening his resolve to convince Andreth that the change of death cannot come from Morgoth. And that point changes the whole complexion of Andreth's construct.



Have an idea relating to the world of JRR Tolkien that you would like to write about? If so, the Third TORn Amateur Symposium will be running in the Reading Room in March, 2014. We hope to see you there!





(This post was edited by Brethil on Jan 8 2014, 6:41pm)


CuriousG
Valinor


Jan 9 2014, 1:13am

Post #85 of 117 (228 views)
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Both personal and philosophical [In reply to] Can't Post

I felt Finrod's swing from extreme tolerance and patience to being snippy was both from intellectual disagreement and from that feeling you get when a friend is in a bad way, and they just make things worse for themselves. At some point your pity snaps and you tell them they've got to quit digging a hole for themselves. Andreth was going from grief to saying The Devil Rules The World, and it was time to reel her back in.

Plus another dimension to their complex relationship is at play: that of adult and child. Children test adults repeatedly; that's one way they learn. But they can test adults too much, and again, adults will snap and say they've gone too far. And didn't it really feel like Andreth was probing Finrod most of the time, seeing how far she could go and what she could get away with, whether she necessarily believed it or not? At times it seemed like she was just repeating hearsay she didn't take too seriously, just to see what his reaction was. I thought this was that moment.

Watching the two is like watching a tennis match, and Andreth's comment that Morgoth is #1 is a really bad swing. Or if it were a debate competition, her overall argument would lose credibility with that wild assertion. I think she takes herself down a notch in Finrod's opinion, so he's no longer indulging her as a potential equal but as someone to be corrected, first about Morgoth ruling the world, then about Morgoth imposing mortality on Men.


CuriousG
Valinor


Jan 9 2014, 1:18am

Post #86 of 117 (228 views)
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Fingolfin and rewards [In reply to] Can't Post

Funny, but I've never contemplated Fingolfin's fate before, maybe because the alliteration drove me away. But it can be inferred that Finrod was rewarded for his sacrifice for Beren by an early release from Mandos, so what about Fingolfin getting an early ticket out for having dared to challenge Melkor? The Valar certainly knew all about it and gave a tacit blessing by sending Thorondor to get in a scratch himself and bear his body away. It seems reasonable that he wouldn't spend eternity locked up like Feanor did.


CuriousG
Valinor


Jan 9 2014, 1:26am

Post #87 of 117 (232 views)
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Speculating on Eru [In reply to] Can't Post

What strikes me about Andreth speculating on the limits of Eru is that she seems to be imposing her own limits on his nature. That is something that critics of religion often say that the religious do, they create their god(s) in their own image, squeezing divinity to fit into a mold of their understanding. It seems that if she accepted Eru as all-powerful, isn't it up to him to have the power and the smarts to enter Arda without breaking it? Whether she can understand it or not should be irrelevant. Or is she being used by Tolkien in the conversation to say incorrect things so that Finrod can correct her?


Brethil
Half-elven


Jan 9 2014, 1:38am

Post #88 of 117 (230 views)
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Inside and Outside and saviors [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To
I cannot get any further clarification on the difference of ‘in-dwelling’ and ‘out-living’.
What are your thoughts on them? Well I think since JRRT mentions Time so often, this might be what he is referring to here, in Finrod's less-than-clear words? As we read in other places, Eru dwells Outside of Time. That Outside is where Gandalf receives the wisdom and power from Eru to become the White. The bestowing of 'wisdom' without Time, without having to experience the serial existence needed to develop it (as it would be under normal circumstances) but instead granted it directly from Eru in time of dire need for Arda.

So, I think in the opposite sense, to dwell inside of Ea is to be inside of Time - even if one is immune to its effects, as presumably Eru is, I think the perspective might change. Perhaps the unified vision dims, and that which can be observed becomes more immediate and limited.

This does not diminish the divinity of Eru as he enters creation, but it does maybe change *his* perception of the world? His perception becoming the closer to the Human, to the Mortal (and even the Immortal) as he would dwell among them *inside* of Time. This relates I think to the savior aspect, that Andreth is clearly referring to as she speculates exactly how Eru could enter into his creation.

And could the idea of the Trinity aspect be in here as well: "He must still remain as He is: the Author without." The idea of the Divine existing concurrently in multiple states and 'modes'?


This seems to anticipate the case of Middle-Earth, post-Morgoth, pretty well. Does it take into account Sauron?
Gandalf strayed out of Arda, and was sent back, was he part of the hope, whose source is beyond Arda?
Is the kind of divine grace, of the type given to Frodo and Sam, the real deciding factor, the real independent hope? Or is this outside help still to come nearer the End?

It seems the Outside help from Eru (though he is not named as such in LOTR) is most obvious and overt in the case of Gandalf - the solution of the Valar, the Wizards, who as JRRT says, 'failed'. His unforeseen initiative was to grant to the deserving Olorin, not in small part because of his act of sacrifice on the bridge at Khazad-dum, wisdom and strength beyond his native measure.

The smaller ways - that secret hope, the sudden strength and inner voice - I am unsure sometimes: is that Eru, or is that someone closer to the Arda...Ulmo or Manwe perhaps?

I think it takes into account that Sauron - in the eyes of JRRT - was closer to Absolute Evil than Melkor was, and of immense danger. The stroke of Eru is leveled against him; it was the Valar who moved against Morgoth. I tend to feel that the case of Gandalf stands alone, and that the other hope - independent of Eru (yet of course created in the Song) may come from other sources...all ultimately having their source within Eru but happening at the choice and thought of others.

So yes Rem, I guess I would say that there is a degree of independent hope - and that Eru's one direct counterstroke was through Gandalf's enrichment; which of course Gandalf then has the inner strength and purpose of his own free will to achieve the end.

A nice sentiment. How much do you think is true? Does the heart want to overwhelm the head?

Interesting comparison here Rem...I wonder though, who heart needs the tuning, and whose head? Certainly the Elves can impart Wisdom (so maybe the intellect) but it almost feels like the existence of Men is to give purpose to the Firstborn before they disappear. They have this one chance to hand down the knowledge to aid Arda and its new stewards before they depart.


Have an idea relating to the world of JRR Tolkien that you would like to write about? If so, the Third TORn Amateur Symposium will be running in the Reading Room in March, 2014. We hope to see you there!





(This post was edited by Brethil on Jan 9 2014, 1:43am)


Brethil
Half-elven


Jan 9 2014, 1:52am

Post #89 of 117 (230 views)
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The physicality of Andreth [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To
What strikes me about Andreth speculating on the limits of Eru is that she seems to be imposing her own limits on his nature. That is something that critics of religion often say that the religious do, they create their god(s) in their own image, squeezing divinity to fit into a mold of their understanding. It seems that if she accepted Eru as all-powerful, isn't it up to him to have the power and the smarts to enter Arda without breaking it? Whether she can understand it or not should be irrelevant. Or is she being used by Tolkien in the conversation to say incorrect things so that Finrod can correct her?
Absolutely here CG - as we note earlier, Andreth is so involved in the physicality of life that I think it is a huge barrier for her to comprehend the Gift and the concepts of Deathlessness and of the Divine entering into Arda.
She cannot conceive of the separation of the fea and the hroa, which hold her back and subverts her idea of Deathlessness...and I do not think thusly she can understand the nature of Eru if he chose to enter Creation. She is equating his 'greatness' with size, in a purely physical sense - the "inside' Time sense, where the body has boundaries and the senses rule - and that is what Finrod is getting at when he says that Eru is 'Measureless'. The spirit that is Eru may assume a hroa, but that fea is not limited by that choice, except by the limits of dwelling within it for the allotted and chosen Time. In the same way, Men's feas do not have the limits on them of the hroa...except during life: then the Gift takes on another meaning, if you allow for this idea.

I don't think it is sexist (just putting that out there) but I think a lot of what is driving Andreth is her desire to be with Aegnor in the very real-world sense; to share a life, to have a family. And at this time and place, she is losing all of that. So maybe that is why her bitterness is so strong here, especially with Finrod (who I am sure in some sense reminds her of his brother.)
I feel for her. Its a lonely, sad time in her life, if physicality is the all important and the most clearly understood. And the physical dwelling in the world can be wonderful, and painful to contemplate the loss of.


Have an idea relating to the world of JRR Tolkien that you would like to write about? If so, the Third TORn Amateur Symposium will be running in the Reading Room in March, 2014. We hope to see you there!





(This post was edited by Brethil on Jan 9 2014, 1:53am)


Brethil
Half-elven


Jan 9 2014, 2:03am

Post #90 of 117 (232 views)
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Potenially a return to Firstborn and Follower? [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To
I felt Finrod's swing from extreme tolerance and patience to being snippy was both from intellectual disagreement and from that feeling you get when a friend is in a bad way, and they just make things worse for themselves. At some point your pity snaps and you tell them they've got to quit digging a hole for themselves. Andreth was going from grief to saying The Devil Rules The World, and it was time to reel her back in.

Plus another dimension to their complex relationship is at play: that of adult and child. Children test adults repeatedly; that's one way they learn. But they can test adults too much, and again, adults will snap and say they've gone too far. And didn't it really feel like Andreth was probing Finrod most of the time, seeing how far she could go and what she could get away with, whether she necessarily believed it or not? At times it seemed like she was just repeating hearsay she didn't take too seriously, just to see what his reaction was. I thought this was that moment.

Watching the two is like watching a tennis match, and Andreth's comment that Morgoth is #1 is a really bad swing. Or if it were a debate competition, her overall argument would lose credibility with that wild assertion. I think she takes herself down a notch in Finrod's opinion, so he's no longer indulging her as a potential equal but as someone to be corrected, first about Morgoth ruling the world, then about Morgoth imposing mortality on Men.



Do you think that that's how the dynamic shifts - that Finrod steps away form the commiseration/empathy standpoint and instead becomes the teacher and shepherd - the role of the Firstborn to the Follower? And that it happens because she is *so* far astray?




Have an idea relating to the world of JRR Tolkien that you would like to write about? If so, the Third TORn Amateur Symposium will be running in the Reading Room in March, 2014. We hope to see you there!





CuriousG
Valinor


Jan 9 2014, 12:56pm

Post #91 of 117 (210 views)
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It appears as the pivot point to me, anyway. [In reply to] Can't Post

He initially disavows any feelings of superiority, but after she starts speculating on how pre-eminent Melkor is, Finrod seems more stern, more lecturing, and less indulgent. He previously seemed to curiously lap up any information she had to reveal about the beliefs of Men, but now he appears to shift into critique mode, and his questions are less aimed at gaining more information and more targeted at leading her in the right direction. He's met Melkor and the Valar and she hasn't, so she's the person speaking from ignorance, and that ignorance now seems a tad dangerous in where it leads her.


CuriousG
Valinor


Jan 9 2014, 1:06pm

Post #92 of 117 (229 views)
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Doubly cheated [In reply to] Can't Post

She seems cheated in at least 2 ways to me:
1. These Wise-women of the Edain don't seem the marrying type. It's not clear to me if they don't want to marry or can't find anyone compatible, or no one wants to marry them, or marriage interferes with their duties and isn't allowed. Though I don't think it's expressly forbidden, it just seems to be the norm for them.
2. Along comes a compatible mate that she can't marry, and he is somehow blessed with eternal youth AND the eternal memory of his happiness with her, while she is doomed to fade away and die. She's got to feel like Galadriel with a dead Ring here, "slowly to forget and to be forgotten," i.e., marginalized.

Andreth is alone and pitiable, and her grief over mortality is sympathetic. She seems to be a spokeperson for the Numenoreans later on, but they don't seem quite as pitiable since they yearned for immortality at their high point, not the low point that she's at.


Mikah
Lorien

Jan 9 2014, 5:54pm

Post #93 of 117 (200 views)
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I think you are right Curious George... [In reply to] Can't Post

I have been watching this portion of the thread with much interest, curious as to how it would play out. I was kind of uncertain as to where I stood on it. Andreth does seem to be testing Finrod's patience at this point. I am uncertain as to whether this is deliberate or not. Is she provoking an attack on Finrod through philosophy, is she playing the devil's advocate here, or is she simply a woman who deems herself scorned and translates this despair to all facets of her ideology? I simply can not tell. However, looked at from this point of view it is easier to see why Finrod is less indulgent at this point of the conversation. I think that you have made a really strong point here, you state that Finrods' questions no longer seem geared toward obtaining information or perspective, but more targeted at leading her in the right direction. It does seem to bring the conversation to a more teacher student role, or that of a parent correcting a wayward child as you pointed out earlier.


Mikah
Lorien

Jan 9 2014, 6:00pm

Post #94 of 117 (210 views)
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Fingolfin and the Halls of Mandos [In reply to] Can't Post

I had never thought about Fingolfin's fate before either and it is certainly not due to lack of thinking about Fingolfin overall. He is one of my favorite characters. It would stand to reason that he would not suffer the same fate as Feanor, but I am not certain that he would be granted the grace that Finrod was granted either. I know that part of his host at least, participated in the kinslaying. Although, I am not certain how accountable the Valar would have held Fingolfin in this.


sador
Half-elven


Jan 9 2014, 6:32pm

Post #95 of 117 (196 views)
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My, I am slow! [In reply to] Can't Post

And this is likely to be my last reponse for this week. By the way, it seems you've omitted a discussion of the Tale of Adanel - do you intend to discuss it?

What do you think of his ideas of Men, Elves and their differences?
Of Men - dangerously close to Puritan ides, such as Bunyan's.
Of Elves - one wonders where they have all gone? Have they faded to local spirits, and from there to simple animistic spirits?

Is this a contradiction of what she has previously said about no hope?
No. She is snatching at Finrod's words, trying to recapture the hope she once had, like an old person, who yearns for his/her youthful piety, but cannot recapture the faith which had formerly sustained it. Maybe there is still hope for her?!

They seem to agree that Men are restless and yearn for more.
Do you think this ambition readied them to supplant the Elves, as was planned?
For sure.

Here comes the idea of a willing release of a spirit by the body, comparable to Aragorn's death. He thinks this the natural end of Men, yet not an end.
Would the instance of Aragorn support this, or was he an exception?
Well yes; this was supposed to be the lot of the Numenorean kings of old.


Is Finrod trying to reconcile his views of mortal Men, with Andreth's immortal Men, and making a muddle?
Yes, in a way; but he is also speaking from his experience regarding the passing of Beor.

Andreth proposes an alternative answer to Finrod's puzzle of the harmony of being. She asserts that the harmony would be broken by their separation, not fulfilled.
What do you think? Has she forgotten the point of Men’s free restless spirit in Arda?
She is retreating back into her cocoon of despair.

Finrod emends her solution by suggestion a translation of the whole being of Man, if the unity is to be maintained.
Is this advancement in the right direction, or more compromise to support Andreth's claims?
I'm not sure what the Catholic church's teachings are regarding the reincarnation of the body in the afterlife; but I guess Tolkien would have Finrod edging towards what he preceived as the right answer.
But Finrod has shown himself already willing to consider seriously Andreth's words, and pursue them to their logical conclusion (as he sees it).

He then sympathises with Men if they have fallen so low as to not escape evil.
Does this contradict his earlier exhortation that Morgoth could not have changed their fate?
I'm not quite sure what you mean, so I can't answer.

Finrod speculates on what might have been, and then seems to turn and claim that if might yet be to come.
What do you think of his optimism?
Personally, I love it.


What do you think of its chances of being true?
This is Tolkien's imagined world, and I assume it is true.


If true, do you think it wrong of Eru to plan it this way?
As I rule, I do not argue as to why G-d made our world the way he did. And Tolkien's Eru copies Him, if you get my drift.

What do you think of this idea? Do you think Elves are bound to die with Arda?
What do you think of this proposed inversion of roles?
Nice.


Does it seem unfair to Men, sent to do the delivering without remembrance of home, while the Elves have the best of both worlds (Literally!)?
Ah! That's a good point.
But after eons of fading... nah, I do not think they get the best of all worlds.



Rembrethil
Tol Eressea


Jan 9 2014, 7:07pm

Post #96 of 117 (195 views)
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A quick reply. (See what I did there!) [In reply to] Can't Post

The Tale of Adanel could be appended to this discussion,but I am not sure if we would have the time, or whether it should be separate. If separate, it should probably be done soon, but I don't want to make a mess of Ardamie's wonderful schedule.

Thought Everyone?

I never got the Puritan vibe for Men. As for Elves, I thought they hung out in Tol Eressea before going back to Valinor, having served their penance. I'd love to hear you view on the Men-Puritan connexion!!

I do see Andreth as a desperate person here. She wants to believe that there is good, but she cannot see any evidence to support her wish.

The willing release of the spirit was definitely a trait of the kings, but do you suppose the common Numenorian was able to do the same?

I meant to ask if in light of his former contention that Men were naturally short lived, or had become so by offending Eru,(but NOT by the action of Morgoth) that it seems strange he commiserates with her. If he disagreed with the premise that Morgoth cold take away their immortality, he would certainly disagree with Andreth's proposed sorry state of Men and the assignation of blame to Morgoth. Right? That was how I read it, anyway...

I love the ideas that Finrod proposes. They have a nice poetic touch, and I too think they were meant to be held as 'true' within the Legendarium. The purpose of this writing,(expressed, I believe, in an authorial note on which I comment later.) is not to write a theology or philosophical treatise for ME, but it does provide the grounds for our own interpretation of what the systems in ME might have looked like.

Any ultimate plan that might overstretch the whole Cosmos of ME would of course be Eru's, and in the context of ME, be unable to be understood completely by mere (im)mortals. This view helps me decide among the conflicting versions of the Legendarium, by allowing myself poetic license to think some things true, but allowing they may not, and just sticking to the basics, making room for other interpretations.

What Eru{or God} has purposed for Men{and Elves} is truly hidden!!

Call me Rem, and remember, not all who ramble are lost...Uh...where was I?


Brethil
Half-elven


Jan 10 2014, 1:56am

Post #97 of 117 (195 views)
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The Tale of Adanel [In reply to] Can't Post

Well as it relates directly to Andreth's beliefs, we could add it here Rem. Do you feel like posting a lead-in? I can happily if you are swamped, but as you have so beautifully and masterfully handled the Athrabeth the same author/style might be nice.
The time is rather ours, as there is no upper limit to the discussion! Actually considering the size and scope of this discussion the schedule of UT may get a one-week bump backwards. So no time pressure.
Let me know what you would like to do, if anything, and your feelings on an addendum versus posting here. (Can PM if you prefer).

Have an idea relating to the world of JRR Tolkien that you would like to write about? If so, the Third TORn Amateur Symposium will be running in the Reading Room in March, 2014. We hope to see you there!





Brethil
Half-elven


Jan 10 2014, 2:03am

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Any ultimate plan that might overstretch the whole Cosmos of ME would of course be Eru's, and in the context of ME, be unable to be understood completely by mere (im)mortals. This view helps me decide among the conflicting versions of the Legendarium, by allowing myself poetic license to think some things true, but allowing they may not, and just sticking to the basics, making room for other interpretations.

What Eru{or God} has purposed for Men{and Elves} is truly hidden!!


Absolutely true! I think though as a working cosmology, JRRT did pretty darned well. His incorporation of Time into the living equation (having Immortals as well as mortals) seems to allow that shift in Time and its perception to gracefully enter the story without a labored or merely philosophical (or dreaded Allegorical!) exposition.
I think he left many ideas a bit grey, for that very reason. Individual tastes and beliefs color the places that are blank, and make it more personal. A literary balance - and I believe it is, versus a philosophical balance - that I think provides the reader with internal and very personal visions. Potentially why FilmVerse has such a mixed reception: it seems JRRT book fans have very strong inner notions after reading the literature.



Have an idea relating to the world of JRR Tolkien that you would like to write about? If so, the Third TORn Amateur Symposium will be running in the Reading Room in March, 2014. We hope to see you there!





Brethil
Half-elven


Jan 10 2014, 2:20am

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She seems cheated in at least 2 ways to me:
1. These Wise-women of the Edain don't seem the marrying type. It's not clear to me if they don't want to marry or can't find anyone compatible, or no one wants to marry them, or marriage interferes with their duties and isn't allowed. Though I don't think it's expressly forbidden, it just seems to be the norm for them.


JRRT handled Haleth in a similar fashion too. I had wondered at the time of that discussion if it was a foretelling of the idea of 'giving hope to others, and leaving none for myself,' as the female burden, since that line of Men is descendent of Aragorn. These women who hold the tales, carry the legacy of culture and knowledge, probably have healing and other lore...yet give up such an important part of life. Granted, it could be their choice, and I do not postulate that someone childless is not fulfilled...I wonder though from JRRT's perspective if he saw that as a sacrifice made for their people?

2. Along comes a compatible mate that she can't marry, and he is somehow blessed with eternal youth AND the eternal memory of his happiness with her, while she is doomed to fade away and die. She's got to feel like Galadriel with a dead Ring here, "slowly to forget and to be forgotten," i.e., marginalized.
Andreth is alone and pitiable, and her grief over mortality is sympathetic. She seems to be a spokeperson for the Numenoreans later on, but they don't seem quite as pitiable since they yearned for immortality at their high point, not the low point that she's at.


That's a very VERY interesting comparison CG! Indeed Andreth, being wise perhaps, has her moment of weakness while grieved and hopeless? meanwhile the Numenoreans were given a version of Paradise, and they created a void at their peak and became hungry for more.

A statement on their relative lack of wisdom?



Have an idea relating to the world of JRR Tolkien that you would like to write about? If so, the Third TORn Amateur Symposium will be running in the Reading Room in March, 2014. We hope to see you there!





(This post was edited by Brethil on Jan 10 2014, 2:21am)


Brethil
Half-elven


Jan 10 2014, 3:55am

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This revelation, how does it impact your perception of the whole? Does it Make Andreth more pitiable? (Which kind? Proud, or akin to love? See later notes) Does it weaken her?
No, I would say it lends an air of humanity to what may be seen as a dry discussion in some ways. I have some thoughts about how love plays into this discussion...more as we proceed.
What of Finrod? Has the whole conversation been aimed to get here? Was he come, not only to honor the dead chieftain, but to comfort Andreth? Was he come to try to sever the, seemingly, unhealthy tie between her and his brother? Does Aegnor know that Finrod is there, or that he wanted to talk to Andreth?
Hard to say - my sense is that Aegnor is off on his own, dedicated to his work. Perhaps thinking of Andreth...since Finrod says 'we are not lordly in this, but pitiful,' I think it means that he knows it has hurt his brother too.
What impact does this have on the story of Beren and Luthien, Aragorn and Arwen, Elrond and Elros, Tuor, Elwing and Earendil? Was this an earlier conception, where it was impossible to choose a mortal/immortal fate? Was there a special catalyst in the other cases? Luthien’s Maiar blood? Elrond and Elros’ human blood? Aragorn’s Elvish blood? Arwen’s ¾ Elven status? Divine prerogative? Had Eleves and Men no proved themselves worthy yet? So much to consider!!!
Impact wise, those unions of elves and Men *were* for the higher doom; from the philosophical standpoint, to enrich the line of Men with the art of the Elves. And of course a whole Elf like Aegnor would have no choice of fates: only those of the union of Elves and Men would have that choice of fate, and that choice is given through higher powers - I believe the point being that the Gift of Men cannot be taken away. From those who are half-Man, it can be given away, but not taken. (And potentially Tuor received such a dispensation, almost retrofitttingly, as Earendil's father). So Finrod is right: Aegnor is as bound up in the Fate as Andreth is.

Andreth seems to be more impassioned than earlier debate has revealed, and for good reason.
Here we get to a touching, personal account. How does it affect the narrative? It gives it life and it excuses so much of Andreth's bitterness I think.

Do you agree with Andreth or Finrod? What do you see as true of this portion? Is fate cruel, or their love unnatural? I cannot say it is unnatural...Elves and Men are 'biologically one race' and it must be supposed that they might care for each other.
Here we have confirmation of love, yet duty interferes. It is a fairly common motif, and in some, (I’d venture to say most), stories breaking a rule for love is lauded.
Why not here? Why is duty so important to Tolkien? It reminds me of Faramir, and his commitment to duty. Does it compare to his life, when he was forbidden to see Edith? It was happy for Tolkien, but a sad end for this ME couple. What do you think?
The custom among the Eldar concerning children, marriage, and war is well attested in another essay, Laws and Customs among the Eldar.
Was it conceived for this narrative, or already in place?
In forsaking their peoples, what would have happened to Aegnor once Andreth died? Had she thought of this, or was she being selfish?

Their union resulting in Earendil is the salvation of Middle-earth. So I can't say its cruel, in the big picture...when it is cruel perhaps, is when the plan is Marred - because it is not his Elfdom that seems to keep Aegnor from Andreth, but the state of war, since Elves only mate during times of peace. In an Unmarred Arda...would things have been different, if their love was true? Then it would be Aegnor who absorbed the pain of his wife's loss instead...
Named in Customs, the idea of not wedding during war may have a very useful literary aspect here too I think. To keep the purity and sanctity of the Elven and human unions relatively singular, that bit about not wedding during War would seem to act as a limit to what would be an inevitable interaction between close and similar beings? So can that limitation be seen as a literary device, albeit one that is very unique and culture-defining? My feeling is that without such a custom, potentially the unions of Men and elves might be so common that the purpose of their three occurrences and their deep story significance would be lost.
Its both a beautiful, life-affirming sort of custom as well as a practical one from the writer's standpoint I think.


What do you think of this distinction? I think it is quite nice! How would the difference be illustrated in our vernacular? Does this dispel ideas of arrogance on Finrod’s part? Does it prove that he came to aid Andreth, rather than to fob her off?
Interesting here...do we have a deeper correlation to Estel and Amdir in some way? The higher love, which looks past differences and instead feels the kinship and connection? And the more prideful love that cannot exist without possession maybe? That grieves for lost time? I feel like, by having the story seem to turn on a pivot - and that pivot being love - JRRT may be drawing a parallel to the themes of faith and love of the divine and faith and love in life?

Andreth’s pride is a constant theme. Is it indicative of Men? Or of Amdir?
Finrod inverts her analogy, but how well do you think it works? Do the moths have more grief, cognisant of death’s source, where candles may have no clue from where their death comes? Does it illustrate the contrast of a forseen death vs. the long awaited death?
Exactly what it is illustrating. Reiterating to Andreth that Elves have their grief as well, and having it be unknown makes it all the worse - as we discussed earlier about fear of Morgoth being very potent as an Unknown threat.




Does this grim ending sound plausible? In the absence of contrary truth, it might well be! How different than then End of the others who followed Luthien’s path!
The proposed end would seem plausible to me. In the absence of any other ties, Aegnor would only have Andreth as his object of fealty. Andreth would be covered in grief, and swamped by guilt and pity, the very thing she seems to hate most!
Yes indeed. Luthien's fate is different, because of special dispensation due to their actions. Andreth and Aegnor would have no such mercies, which dying together can be seen as in this sort of equation. Suddenly that Gift may not seem so bad...but they would still have never aged together, and she stull might have been the burden she fears to be.


What do you think of Finrod’s ideal? It may work for Elves, who will reunite, but for Men? It seems to propose a suicide of Men to prevent decay. I have always been puzzled, and slightly disturbed by Aragorn’s willful death. Could it be an exceptional thing only meant for the cross-kindred marriages?
Aragorn's fate is the choice of every 'good Numenorean.' The statement here I think is about life versus serial existence, one that he underscored by the power of the Ring in extending 'existence' but not life.

Is this the inexhorable, ‘Better to have loved and lost, than to have never loved at all!’, scenario? Finrod seems to take the former stance, ridiculing the last part of the colloquialism. Andreth seems to understand and has no reply to this, directly.
We do not know her thoughts, but what do you think they were at this point?
I think there must be some deeper pain in a way - I'm not sure how comforting it is to know that Aegnor indeed loves her UNLESS she can some to terms with losing the life she has wanted with him. If she can, then maybe there is a cold comfort here. if she cannot - then this may pain her until she accepts it, if ever.


Wow! What a topic! There really is no answer given in this context, and it leaves us questioning fate. The message of Andreth seems typical of a lover to a soldier. Do you think JRR saw many of these notes? I am sure he did...

Finrod seems to try to comfort Andreth in her own mindset, by observing that Aegnor will avenge her in part. Does it really help to think that vengeance has been done? Maybe on some level, if she is still convinced that Morgoth did Men ill. But I feel like for her to really heal, she must get past this construct.
We are unsure of his mind, or Andreth’s concerning the fates of Men and Elves. I think that a later writing would be needed to express it, giving them time to ponder what they had heard, and sort out their thoughts. Finrod seems to take the optimistic turn, in the face of all danger and the presentiment of defeat. His final words are haunting. ‘Await us there,{beyond Arda}my brother—and me.’
He seems to offer hope, without basis, Estel. The whole discussion has centred around it. ‘What hope do Men and Elves have?’ His final words seem to affirm the love of Aegnor, but the last few speak to me the most. ‘–and me
Why him? Has he come to see the thing that Aegnor loves in Andreth? Has he come to love her, if ever so slightly? Or does he merely wish to continue this dialogue in knowledge of the truth and light, to be found outside of Arda? Is it a mix of the two?
I think he esteems her, and as he would share in his brother's joy, he would have them all be together. I don't think it is about the dialogue - it is from his heart, and it is a wish beyond the Unknown that they be reunited in some way, some day.
Its a very, very touching ending.





Have an idea relating to the world of JRR Tolkien that you would like to write about? If so, the Third TORn Amateur Symposium will be running in the Reading Room in March, 2014. We hope to see you there!




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